Eleven

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English 101
Sandra Cisneros “Eleven”
Millie Smitter

Have you ever heard the expression "too young to be old" or "too old to be young?" “Eleven ", a story written by Sandra Cisneros, allows us to live the different emotions of Rachael, an ingenious first person narrator, describes the details of her humiliating eleventh birthday on a regular school day. Growing up can be, in most cases, a dramatic and difficult process, especially for kids. An eleven-year-old can feel helpless and vulnerable, unable to challenge the authority of an adult when he or she feels incapable handling emotional situations.

In the history, Rachael is accused by the teacher of owning a grubby, discarded sweater, which, of course, she does not. She feels helpless and bullied by Mrs. Price as she meekly tries to protest: “Not mine, not mine, not mine, but Mrs. Price is turning to page thirty – two and math problem number four” (Cisneros, 610). Rachel needs to understand that life is not just about us; even when you feel down and humiliated, that does not mean that everyone is willing to help you feel better.

Rachael associates being old with being right, so she relates the age with power and authority, recognizing that: “Because she’s older and the teacher, she’s right and I’m not” (Cisneros, 610). Mrs. Price is so dominating: “You put that sweater on right now and no more nonsense” (Cisneros, 610) that Rachael can only respond with what she calls her four-year-old voice. Generally, children are intimidated by adults, which make them feel vulnerable and powerless.

There is no doubt that growth is a complicated and long process we experience the rest of our lives. For a child, especially in “middle” stage, it can be an opportunity to exaggerate or minimize, with great imagination, emotional and sensitive situations.
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